Favorite Films — first five

Posted: October 12, 2018 in Writing
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I’ve seen hundreds, probably thousands, of films over the years. Here’re the first few in my list of favorites. I’m not saying these are the best films ever made — far from it; my knowledge is far too limited to say that — just that I really enjoyed them and that there’s a good chance you will too, if you decide to give ’em a view. Here are the first ones, in no particular order:

  • The Third Man (1949, directed by Carol Reed, original screenplay by Graham Greene). A visually stunning, subtly menacing, intelligently written European film noir with great performances by David Niven, Joseph Cotton, and Orson Welles. This contains some of the most memorable images ever recorded. (Fun fact: for decades I assumed Carol Reed was a woman. Not so. He was — the Brits, go figure ’em — a guy.)
  • Double Indemnity (1944, directed by Billy Wilder, screenplay by Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler). My all-time favorite film noir. Fred McMurray is absolutely great as a clueless insurance salesman manipulated by a femme fatale (the equally good Barbara Stanwyck) in this engrossing murder mystery that will keep you guessing until near the end. Edward G. Robinson is likewise great in a secondary role.
  • Life of Brian (1979, directed by Terry Jones, written by the Python crew). A fictional version of the life of Jesus, and one of the funniest films ever produced. As much about politics as religion, this incredibly insightful film remains as relevant today as it was four decades ago.
  • The Big Lebowski (1998, directed and written by Ethan and Joel Coen). Another nominee for funniest film ever produced. Great performances by Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, and David Huddleston. (As awful as it seems, The Dude reminds me all too much of myself — I even look like him.)
  • The Producers (1967, written and directed by Mel Brooks). Probably the funniest film ever made, it concerns the production by two Jewish hucksters of what they consider the certain-to-fail play, “Springtime for Hitler.” The choreographed scene is still jaw dropping four decades later.

As I said, enjoy ’em.

More to come.

It’s time for me to write some in-all-likelihood terrible fiction that will probably never see the light of day, and then practice guitar for a couple of hours for a band that will never be popular.

As some wise guy once said, “enjoy the trip, not the destination.”

Cheers

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